Renewed Commitment to Energy Efficiency to Provide Unprecedented Electricity and Natural Gas Benefits for Consumers, Environment, and the Economy
Boston – November 14, 2012 - The Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) has given its approval to the 2013-2015 Three-Year Energy Efficiency lnvestment Plans (2013-2015 Plans). Based on an agreement between the Patrick Administration, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and the state’s energy efficiency program administrators (PAs), the 2013-2015 Plans expand Massachusetts’ nation-leading goals for electricity and natural gas savings from energy efficiency investments into its second multi-year agreement.
The EEAC approved a resolution on the Plans to provide input to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), which is expected to vote on approval of them in January 2013. The 2013-2015 Plans were filed with the DPU on Friday, November 2, 2012.
The energy-saving agreements for the 2013-2015 Plans commit the state's investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities and the Cape Light Compact to deliver benefits of $8.92 billion with a budget of $2.01 billion over three years through innovative, customer-focused programs that will deliver unprecedented savings and provide short and long term benefits for customers, as well as the economy and the environment.
“Massachusetts is leading the nation in energy efficiency. This plan builds on that leadership, while providing substantial savings to homeowners, businesses and municipalities,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
The energy efficiency investments will save 3.7 million MWh of electricity in 2015 from the improvements installed over the three years of the plan — enough to power more than 500,000 households for one year. They will also save over 72 million therms over the same period, enough to heat more than 70,000 homes for a year.
“Reducing our energy consumption will yield significant environmental benefits and help control high energy costs that burden consumers in Massachusetts,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “The utilities have proposed aggressive, but achievable, energy savings goals, and it remains important for them to monitor those programs to ensure that ratepayers are receiving the full environmental and economic benefits promised.”
The cost of the plan over three years will be funded primarily by distribution charges on electricity bills and the proceeds of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative allowance auctions Benefits are both economic and non-economic, and include the value of avoided energy purchases, reductions in operations and maintenance costs, as well as reducing pollutant emissions and increased worker productivity.
“As the nation continues to recover from a recession, we know just how important utility bill savings are to people,” said EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This plan delivers benefits critical to everyone in the Commonwealth, and helps protect our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Massachusetts is an energy efficiency leader because so many of us are working together to meet our clean energy and climate goals,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “The efforts of the Attorney General, the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, the PAs, and my team are again setting a high bar for improving private and public buildings, boosting the economy, and making our environment healthier for everyone.”
"Investing in energy efficiency is good for consumers, the economy and the environment,” said Senator Benjamin Downing, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “This three year plan will build on our nation-leading efforts and will help families and businesses avoid unnecessary energy costs. I applaud the council for their work and look forward to the vigorous implementation of the plan."
The Green Communities Act signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008 requires the state's investor-owned electric and gas utilities and the Cape Light Compact, which deliver the Mass Save® programs, to prepare energy efficiency plans that secure for their customers all available cost-effective energy efficiency and demand reduction resources. Following an exhaustive process led by Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Attorney General Martha Coakley's office, the utilities agreed to goals and program costs that will be reviewed by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) in November.
“Massachusetts’ nation-leading energy efficient efforts make for a strong economic and environmental strategy,” said Jeremy McDiarmid, EEAC member and Massachusetts Director for ENE, an environmental non-profit research and advocacy organization. “This agreement will help us address climate change here in Massachusetts while creating over $8.9 billion in economic benefits.”
“The electric and gas utilities have shown incredible leadership in developing these plans. There is no doubt the plans will bring unprecedented cost savings to customers and measurable environmental benefits to the Commonwealth,” said Robert Rio, EEAC member and Senior Vice President of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).
The 2013-2015 Plans include commitments by the PAs to ambitious energy savings goals that will support the objectives of the GCA, the Global Warming Solutions Act, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. The Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 mandates a gradual GHG emissions reduction and a scheduling of emissions goals that is designed to spur innovation and promote research and development in the clean energy industry. The Commonwealth set a 2020 reduction target of 25 percent below 1990 levels, and released the plan outlining a portfolio of policies and programs to meet the goal.
The current Three-Year Energy Efficiency Investment Plans (2010-2012) were noted as one of the reasons Massachusetts ranked #1 in the nation for energy efficiency by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) in 2012, the second straight year the Commonwealth earned this ranking.
By the end of 2012, the current three-year effort is estimated to save the equivalent of powering more than 363,000 homes for a year, heating nearly 57,000 homes, and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 288,235 cars.
Energy efficiency improvements by homeowners, business, and state and local government across the Commonwealth in 2011 resulted in savings equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 109,000 homes, the annual natural gas usage of nearly 15,000 homes and the annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from more than 84,000 cars. The results are outlined in the 2011 Report of the EEAC, recently filed with the Legislature.